Surviving Lockdown – Part (i)

My Personal Routine

The focus of this blog is normally to celebrate interior design and travel. However, I would not feel human if I did not comment on the current, incredibly challenging situation. I am no expert and I realise that everyone’s situation is completely different, but if I say one thing that resonates with you I will consider this a useful post. My personal routine is not normally particularly interesting if I am honest, or relevant to my usual subject matter, but at the moment it is all I have.

I am having Power Mornings: I wake up naturally at about 7am. I do not have young children to attend to, I am a self employed mother of adult children, so I do not really have to think about anyone else straight away. I recently read a book called The Miracle Morning – it was all about getting up at 5am and getting loads done – I realised halfway through that I really do not need to get up at 5am, I do need to get certain things ‘done’, but 7am or even later is fine!

I clean my teeth and have a cuppa: surely everyone does this?

I meditate: I am listening to Deepak Chopra’s 21 Days of Abundance at the moment – it is absolutely wonderful.

I exercise: I suffer from Policeman’s Heel (Plantar Fasciitis) I am not a saint or a diehard yoga fanatic, super fit or even ‘fit’, it is just a fact that if I do not do these magical stretches prescribed by my wonderful physio, Liz Noar, I can hardly move.

I shower: yes I do!

I do my hair: I have very long hair and wear it in a plait – this is not that hard, but quite an effort to keep tidy.

I do my hands and face: I have recently discovered Burt’s Bees for my hands and on my face I use the absolutely brilliant Replenish Super Food facial oils by Beatitude

I dress: I could hang around all day in my nightie and dressing gown of course, but I realise that my family find it depressing and possibly a bit embarrassing having Mum still in her nightclothes by lunchtime. I give a lot of thought to what I wear, I need to be comfortable and I have to look nice: I feel depressed if I don’t. I have had my colours done, I am ‘bright summer’ so I do not wear black and look dreadful if I do and feel great actually if I stick to my prescribed palette. I am a Natural Romantic in terms of style, so I take care to wear soft textures and gentle feminine shapes.

I do Instagram: I have a love/hate relationship with this app. I LOVE it and want to be a famous, witty instagrammer with a huge following and a beautiful home with stone walls and lots of crumpled linen fabrics, but I don’t and the moment I get on I just feel pressurised and slightly wooden and distinctly un-amusing. But it is SO useful to me: you cannot be an interiors journalist in the twenty first century without being on social media. My work is about other people though, so my feed is as varied as they are: it can’t be all stone walls and crumpled linens because a lot of the people I write about don’t have them; they have wallpaper and a fondness for velvets and rich colours.

I work: mainly emails first thing, but if I can pluck up the courage, I do phone people. It can be incredibly productive to just speak to people sometimes!

I have breakfast: I spent years having breakfast first thing, believing it was ‘the most important meal of the day.’ This is absolute bollocks: it was actually a marketing ploy by Kelloggs to get us all to have a bowl of sugary, salt laden cereal every day to line their pockets. I used to be STARVING by 11am and would then have another breakfast and if I was on a shoot or could not access food for some reason, I would develop a skull cracking migraine. Then I met Alexa Henderson and had some diet coaching (indulgent I know but LIFE CHANGING). I now only eat between 11am and 7pm – I am still hungry at 11am – so I eat breakfast – doh!! I just don’t eat breakfast at 8am as well when I am NOT hungry. I have lunch at 1pm and supper at 7pm. I am not super strict though, but I do roughly stick to this and I feel so much better.

I do more work: yep, I love it, I might even do some actual writing!

I have lunch and I always go for a walk at some point. I am much freer in the afternoon, especially if I have achieved all the above in the morning!

I might do a bit more work, or I paint, but I religiously knock off by 7pm to make supper. I sometimes have a glass of wine while I cook, but I honestly do not drink very much – I love alcohol, but it can make me headachey. After supper I chill out and go to bed as soon as I can and nod off to a Scandinavian thriller. They go on for weeks and because I usually nod off and I have rewatch episodes several times I can really string them out. I find them intensely relaxing.

I love reading as well, but unfortunately the pandemic is making me slightly anxious, so I am not reading anywhere near as much as I would like to.

I am trying to thoroughly clear out the house during lockdown and get a few jobs done, but to be honest I am always doing this anyway… After two weeks I have realised that I am not really doing any more housework or cleaning than I would normally.

I would like to thank all my friends and family for all their love and chats and support – for helping me to feel normal in a time when loneliness, which is something I do suffer from paradoxically as a natural extravert, could be a real problem! You know who you are!!

I am very aware that all I need to do at the moment is stay at home. This is not strictly ‘hard’, but of course, managing family relationships and being sensible about stress and anxiety when we are normally distracted by the need to go to work, shop, deal with difficult colleagues, demanding bosses and for many an action packed social life (errr, for me a lovely, but quite genteel one!) is something I need to get used to.

I am truly humbled by the many who are doing all the above on top of home schooling young children  AND working in schools, hospitals, shops with no childcare – how the hell does that work??

I will report back soon, in a month and let you know how I am getting on. In the meantime I would love to hear your experiences?


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